Just like any other joinery technique, the biscuit joint has its benefits and as well a wide array of drawbacks.
If you are not seasoned in the woodworking industry, you may not be conversant with the use of biscuit joints and thus you might wondering what are some of the pros and cons of biscuit joints.
Biscuit joint is one of the common techniques used by most woodworkers globally to easily and quickly glue together pieces of wood together while ensuring proper alignment.
Additionally, this technique enhances a measure of strength that cannot be achieved by other joineries such as miter joints and butt joints.
This piece will enlighten you on the pros and cons of biscuit joints.
What is a Biscuit Joint?
A biscuit joiner is a woodworking tool used for cutting a tiny crescent-shaped hole on opposite sides of two wooden pieces. Glue is then applied to the holes. For them to dry, a wafer is applied.
Compressed wood is then inserted into the holes. The wafers are designed to expand when they are wet.
Glue plays a major role in ensuring that there is enough moisture to aid them to tightly fill the space and form a solid joint.
Developed in the 1950s, the biscuit joint technique entails aligning two pieces of wood to provide relatively tight joinery to hold everything together. However, this technique may not be ideal for demanding woodworking projects that require strong bonding of wood pieces.
The size of the surface that you are creating using a biscuit joint will depend on the size of the woods that you are using as well as on its design.
Are There Any Challenges to Using a Biscuit Joiner?
Biscuit joints may not be ideal for woodworking projects that require high levels of precision and accuracy. However, its accuracy may depend on the project that you are working on.
Biscuit joints just like any other type of joint have some shortcomings. Some of the major challenges of biscuit joinery are a result of misuse or shoddy application of the technique.
Some of these drawbacks include misaligned surfaces, unsquare slots, exposed biscuits, and glue line depressions.
Biscuit joints tend to be easily exposed especially when sanded. This can be much discouraging as it could inconvenience and affect the general outcome of your project. The end product may be of poor quality.
What are the Advantages of Using Biscuit Joint?
Biscuit joiners are guaranteed to give you value by adding credibility to your various woodworking projects. Below are some of the benefits that come with the use of a biscuit joint.
As a woodworker one of the vital aspect and qualities that you should go for when undertaking any woodworking project is to achieve durability and strength in your structure. When using a biscuit joiner you will be able to achieve this and to improve on the stability of your workpiece.
Offers a Professional Outlook
When working with wood pieces it’s much easier to achieve a naturalistic outlook on your various projects. However, this can only be achieved through the use of appropriate tools to join the wood pieces together.
One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through the use of a biscuit joint as you will be able to get the perfect finish.
Ideal for Different Sizes of Wood
Most woodworkers prefer the use of biscuit joints as they can be used on a wide array of wood sizes. Regardless of whether you are working on huge pieces of lumber or small ones you will be able to join them using biscuit joints.
Suitable for Various Types of Wood
There are various types of woods used by woodworkers for various duties. Some are soft while others are hard. When working with biscuit joints you wouldn’t have to worry about the type of wood to use.
Will Boost your Cutting Confidence
When working with this woodworking power tool the quality of your end product will be highly advanced as you will have confidence in your cutting capability. Biscuit joints will enhance your confidence as they will help you achieve the shape and the size that you are looking for.
Also, this tool is relatively easy to use and thus minimizes on wastage of wood.
Provides Value for Money
The use of high-quality biscuit joiners will reap immense value as it will give you robust service for a longer period. You will be able to use it for a vast array of projects and thus boosting your income. However, to achieve value for your money you need to take special care of your power tool.
Another advantage of using biscuit joints is that they are easily accessible as they are available at a friendly cost
What are the Disadvantages of Using Biscuit Joints?
- Biscuit joiners are great woodworking tools as they help in various vital projects. However, it might be much challenging for the starters to use it, especially when it comes to getting the right shapes and sizes as it requires some level of skills and prowess.
- Some of the users of biscuit joints have complained of the tool making poor quality cuts. This has mostly been traced back to the design made by the manufacturers.
- Another challenge encountered while using a biscuit joiner is that they are not ideal on wood pieces under 0.25 inches. Biscuit joiners may also not be suitable for smooth and clean cuts as they tend to be exposed.
- You may end up with line depressions on your workpiece especially if the slots are too deep thus your end product may be undesirable.
- Although biscuit joiners are designed to give great alignment, due to lurching you could still end up experiencing misalignment. In instances where the mortar of a biscuit joint kicks off while still placed on a workpiece, it could end causing depression.
- As compared to other joinery methods such as mortise and tenon, biscuit joints tend to be weaker and thus may not be used for tough and immense woodworking projects that require the firm attachment of pieces of wood.
Can You Use Biscuit Joint On Plywood and MDF?
Yes, it is possible to use biscuit joiners on plywood and MDF. You will be able to get invisible and clean cuts on plywood through the use of a biscuit joint. Inside the hole, the biscuits will expand with the moisture of the glue and as a result, the plywood will hold.
MDF tends to be less dense and weaker as compared to plywood or normal wood, biscuit joint can be used to bring together two pieces. You will be able to achieve an invisible and clean-cut and biscuit expansion
Is It Possible to Use Biscuit Joints for Solid Wood Edge?
Apart from biscuit joints being perfect on plywood, they are also a perfect choice when you are seeking to join solid wood edges to pieces of sheet.
Additionally, biscuit joints can be used for straightening bowed boards. When it comes to joining straight board to bowed board, one of the vital aspects is measurements.
The same applies to when joining two bowed boards. However, some pressure is needed to push down the bow to insert and connect the biscuits.
However, it may not be ideal in some situations as it’s a useful choice of joinery.
Normal Uses of Biscuit Joint
Biscuit joints are relatively easy to make. Ideally, if you have a biscuit joiner you can effectively execute them in your various woodworking projects. Some of the typical functionalities of biscuit joints include:
- Joining pieces of wood into tabletops, desktops, and more
- Joining of boards particularly medium-density fiberboard and plywood
- Ideal for joining pieces of wood at 90-degree angles for instance in mitered biscuit joints
Biscuit joints are ideal for various woodworking projects that require joining pieces of wood, especially at a 90 degrees angle. They are less costly and easy to use.
However, they require some level of expertise which may be challenging to the novice. However, the choice of whether to go for a biscuit joint should be determined by the nature of your project.